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FordPass smartphone app

FordPass connected car smartphone app is now FREE

FordPass smartphone app

Charges for the FordPass smartphone app have been lifted meaning all new Ford owners will now be able to monitor and control their vehicle remotely free of charge.

Previously, FordPass connected vehicle services required owners to pay for a subscription.

Fees have now been waived which Ford says could potentially save users of the FordPass app hundreds of pounds.

The app, which works through the onboard modem fitted to all new Ford vehicles, works on both Apple and Android devices. It can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App and Google Play stores.

It allows owners to check fuel levels and remaining range remotely, and lock and unlock the vehicle.

The latter function is useful for owners who worry whether they locked their car – or those who need to give temporary access to someone who doesn’t have the car key.

Find your Ford

The app can show the precise location of the vehicle in a packed car park, and will send push notifications of items that need attention such as low tyre pressure.

For owners of electrified plug-in Fords such as the Ford Kuga Plug-in Hybrid, the app has some extra functionality.

It displays battery levels and EV driving range, allows owners to schedule charging to take advantage of off-peak electricity, and lets them cool or heat the cabin while the vehicle is plugged in.

FordPass director Richard Bunn said making the app free is “an important part of delivering on our promise to make smart vehicles for a smart world”.

Earlier this week, BMW and Apple announced the world’s first integration of a digital key into Apple iPhone and Apple Watch devices.

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Ford Police Interceptor Utility can now decontaminate itself from viruses

Ford Police Interceptor kills viruses

Rapid action by Ford has seen the company develop new functions to help police vehicles render harmful viruses inactive. 

The Ford Police Interceptor Utility SUV can now use software to rapidly increase the temperature of its interior to more than 130 degrees Farenheit (over 56 degrees Celsius).

This extreme heat then reduces the concentration of coronaviruses, including COVID-19, by more than 99 percent.

Ford is now making the software update rapidly available across North America, with only minimal work needed to implement it by police fleets

Turning up the heat on viruses

Ford Police Interceptor kills viruses

The new process is used when officers believe they have transported a suspect with potential symptoms of COVID-19 in their vehicle. It relies on simply pressing a series of buttons on the cruise control system, or an external tool on older vehicles. 

Making the virus-killing software so instantly effective is that it uses the Police Interceptor Utility’s normal engine and heating systems.

Once officers have exited the vehicle, the Police Interceptor Utility will begin to warm the engine to a specific degree.

The heat from this is then channeled into the interior of the vehicle through the air vents, elevating the temperature to 133 degrees Fahrenheit (56.1 degrees Celsius).

Sensors note when the right temperature has been reached, and then maintain it for 15 minutes. A cooldown process is automatically initiated afterwards.  

Hotter than Death Valley

Ford Police Interceptor kills viruses

Officers are able to monitor progress safely from outside the vehicle. The hazard warning and tail lights flash in a pre-set pattern to confirm the process has begun, and also when it has been completed. 

Laboratory supervisors at The Ohio State University department of microbiology have stated that “exposing coronaviruses to temperatures of 56 degrees Celsius, or 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15 minutes reduces the viral concentration by greater than 99 percent on interior surfaces and materials”.

Ford has designed the new process to be used alongside existing manual cleaning measures. The heating system allows areas that might be harder to reach to also be decontaminated. 

A simple software solution

Ford Police Interceptor kills viruses

Testing has already been undertaken by police forces across the United States. This has included the NYPD and LAPD, along with state police and sheriff’s offices in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Florida. 

Larger departments will be able to install the updated software directly, with other fleets able to use Ford dealerships. 

The company is now working on similar measures that can be used on other Ford police vehicles. This comes as part of the firm’s wider response to COVID-19, including making visors and respirators.

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Why hand sanitiser damages your car – and how to prevent it

Using hand santitiser

The coronavirus crisis has led to huge demand for hand sanitiser. And while nobody is suggesting you shouldn’t clean and disinfect your hands, that could be bad news for your car’s interior.

Ford engineers have warned that chemicals found in everyday products, including hand sanitisers, sun lotions and insect repellent, can cause interior surfaces to wear prematurely.

Many hand sanitisers contain ethanol, a simple type of alcohol.

Meanwhile, higher protection sun lotions contain greater quantities of titanium oxide. This can react with plastics and natural oils found in leather.

Another harmful chemical, diethyltoluamide or DEET, is found in insect repellents.

Gloves while driving

The net result is a chemical attack on your car’s interior. However, even in times of lockdown, there is a straightforward solution: wear gloves.

Disposable gloves may remove the need for hand sanistiser and protect your car into the bargain. Just remember to throw them away immediately after use.

As for the damage caused by sun cream and insect repellants, wearing long trousers or fitting seat covers could help.

At all times, prioritise your safety – and that of others – over the condition of your car.

Using sun lotion

Mark Montgomery, senior materials engineer at Ford’s Material Technology Centre, said: “From hand sanitisers to sun lotions to insect repellent, consumer trends are constantly changing.

“Even the most innocuous seeming product can cause problems when they come into contact with surfaces hundreds of times a year.”

The teams test at extreme temperatures to replicate the inside of a car parked at the beach on a hot day.

In other tests, the engineers subject samples with ultra-violet light, equivalent to the brightest place on earth, for up to 48 days.

Based on the findings, Ford reformulates the chemical constitution of protective coatings to protect the interiors. The same tests are also used for accessories, such as boot liners and plastic covers.

Sometimes what we do requires a bit of detective work,” said Richard Kyle, materials engineer, based in Dunton.

“There were instances of particularly high wear in Turkey. We managed to trace it back to ethanol potentially being a contributing factor, and most likely a popular hand sanitiser that contained 80 percent ethanol. That’s far higher than anything we’d seen before.

“Once we knew what it was, we were able to do something about it.”

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Steeda Q500 Enforcer

Steeda Ford Mustang Q500 review: brawn in the USA

Steeda Q500 EnforcerSteeda has made America’s Fords go faster since 1988. Now, the Florida-based company has brought its modified Mustangs to the UK. Meet the Steeda Q500 Enforcer.

Its name may evoke Blade Runner or Robocop, but there’s nothing particularly futuristic about the Q500. This tuned Mustang is defiantly old-school, with a 5.0-litre V8 upfront, more torque than traction and an exhaust rumble to rouse the dead.

That all sounds very, very cool, particularly if – like me – you were raised on a diet of Bruce Springsteen records. “Well, the night’s busting open, these two lanes will take us anywhere,” sang The Boss on Thunder Road. But does his American dream still work in suburban Surrey?

Steeda Q500 Enforcer

In dark Magnetic Grey on 20-inch rims, the Steeda reeks of subtle menace. Broad of shoulder and square of jaw, it looks every inch the modern muscle car.

Cosmetic changes are limited to a front splitter, illuminated sill kickplates, a duck tail spoiler and ‘STEEDA’ lettering across the tailgate. The Velgen alloys are another US import, filling-out the Mustang’s ample haunches and wearing Ferrari-specific Michelin Pilot Sport rubber.

The car rides on adjustable suspension with beefed-up anti-roll bars and a front strut brace. Its set-up was developed at Steeda’s test-track in Valdosta, Georgia, so the firm promises good handling despite that semi-slammed stance.

Video: Steeda Q500 Enforcer on the road

Under the bonnet, Ford’s venerable V8 is treated to a cold-air intake system, ECU tweaks and a freer-flowing exhaust. The net result is an extra 64hp and 94lb ft of torque, totalling 480hp and 485lb ft overall.

Steeda doesn’t publish performance figures, but I reckon you could knock half a second off the standard Mustang’s 4.8sec to 62mph.

If you buy one new, the Q500 starts at around £53,000 – £10,000 more than a Mustang GT. A more afforable Q350 model, based on the four-cylinder Ecoboost-engined Mustang, costs £6,000 for the conversion or roughly £44,000 for a complete car.

There’s also a flagship Q850 kit, offering 850 wild horses for £36,000 (or £80,000 all-in). More on that later…

Steeda Q500 Enforcer

Like a Hollywood blockbuster or a supersized Coke, the Mustang has always offered lots of muscle for your money. Choose a Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe with similar performance (and a soundtrack that’s almost as bombastic) and you’d be at least £13,000 lighter.

The Ford’s cabin is, however, where those cost-savings make themselves known. There’s nothing wrong with it as such, but the quality of plastics won’t keep Stuttgart awake at night and the touchscreen media system feels dated.

The wide, flat seats (designed for supersized Americans?) don’t offer much support either. I’d be tempted to fit the optional Ford Racing Recaros.

Steeda Q500 Enforcer

Steeda’s mods are minimal, but cover the main touch-points for the driver. There’s a lovely, smaller-diameter Alcantara steering wheel from the Mustang Shelby GT350R, plus a neat eight-ball gearknob.

Standard equipment on all Mustang V8s includes xenon headlights, electric seats, climate control air-con, DAB radio, cruise control and a reversing camera. Sat nav and parking sensors cost extra, as part of the Custom Pack.

It’s hard to don my road-test hat and write a reasoned review of the Steeda Q500. For starters, it’s hardly a rational car: nobody actually needs 480hp, and you can expect fuel economy in the low teens if you drive it hard.

More pertinently, though, every time I press the start button I find myself making an involuntary oooof noise and smirking like a schoolboy who’s just dodged detention.

Inhaling and exhaling through Steeda pipes, the Ford V8 is absurdly, magnificently epic.

Steeda Q500 Enforcer

At idle, it rumbles with the mighty intensity of shifting tectonic plates, while full-bore acceleration sounds like a WW2 bomber strafing the high street. Your neighbours may file for an ASBO, but anyone with a drop of petrol in their veins will be utterly besotted.

As you’d expect, the engine’s defining characteristic is torque. It’ll cruise comfortably at 30mph in fifth gear, and the long ratios of the six-speed manual ’box allow relaxed progress if you’re not in a ‘Steve McQueen’ sort of mood.

Put the hammer down and the Mustang feels properly quick, albeit not quite as head-spinning as its nigh-on-500hp output suggests. Blame the gearbox, perhaps, and a portly 1.7-tonne kerb weight.

Steeda Q500 Enforcer

With so little space under its wheelarches, the Q500’s ride is firm and fidgety around town. It soon smoothes out with speed, though, and the suspension can be adjusted for greater pliancy.

The additional roll stiffness means it turns in more eagerly than a regular Mustang V8, and, while it’s still no BMW M4 when it comes to poise or steering feedback, it feels like a machine you can grab by the scruff and enjoy without fear of the chassis biting back.

If you really want to upset your neighbours, you can, of course, use the Mustang’s standard Line-Lock function. This holds the front brakes, allowing you to spin the rear tyres up into a smokey burnout – a task the Q500 manages with hilarious ease. 

Steeda Q500 Enforcer

It wasn’t just Springsteen who eulogised the Mustang. From Wilson Pickett’s Mustang Sally to Vanilla Ice rollin’ in his five-point-oh, the Ford is an icon – as American as Oprah, corn dogs and NASCAR.

The Q500 Enforcer builds on the strengths of the Mustang V8 without ruining the basic recipe. It looks and sounds fabulous, but unlike some tuner cars we’ve tried, it isn’t too extreme for the road. The modifications feel well-resolved and worthwhile.

God knows, this car isn’t perfect. I’d be keen to dial a little more softness into the suspension – even if that means raising the ride height – and I do wonder if I could live with the sheer volume of that exhaust every day. But if muscle cars are your thing, and you want one that’s exciting, exclusive and right-hand-drive, the Q500 Enforcer is the real deal.

– POSTSCRIPT –

After this Mustang did the rounds of UK journalists, it returned to Steeda and was beefed up to Q750 Streetfighter spec. That means – you guessed it – 750bhp, or (760 metric horsepower), plus more exclusivity than any supercar: it’s the only one in Europe. 

The Streetfighter is now for sale via Philip Ireland Performance Cars for £49,995 – arguably good value for a fast Ford that outguns a McLaren 720S. Just remember to keep something back for replacement rear tyres. 

Still want more? The Q750 has since been superseded by the even-more-insane Q850 and, once the lockdown lifts, I’ll be pestering Steeda to drive one. Watch this space.

Thank you to Adrian Flux for insuring the Steeda Q500 Enforcer. 

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‘Garage find’ 1987 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth heads to auction

Garage Find Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

Fast Fords from the 1980s have become hot property at auctions in recent years, with records broken for the biggest sales. 

One of the lots listed for the forthcoming Silverstone Auctions May Live sale is another desirable modern classic. 

However, the winning bidder might need to be prepared to get their hands dirty to make the most of this hidden treasure…

Awakened after two decades

Garage Find Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

The ‘barn find’ phenomenon has taken over the auction world, with collectors fighting for abandoned classics. The 1987 Sierra RS Cosworth in question here is slightly different, having been deliberately stored in a garage by its owner. 

Sold new in June 1987, the car passed through several owners before reaching the current registered keeper in June 1991. 

The Sierra was then driven round 16,000 miles, taking the total recorded on the odometer to 84,552. In 1998, the car was then placed into a state of hibernation until March this year.

Break out the chamois leather

Garage Find Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

Untouched for more than two decades, this Cosworth has all the dirt and dust you’d expect from a lengthy period living in a garage.

The seller has decided to put it up for auction in unrestored original condition.  

Externally, there is enough grime to keep a professional valeter busy for days. The 15-inch multispoke wheels need a deep clean, while the interior is grubby but looks complete. 

Under the bonnet, the 204hp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is far from being in concours condition, but could be smartened up again.

Returning to rude health 

Garage Find Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

Despite the covering of dust, the seller notes the car does run. More than £1,300 has been spent fitting a new fuel tank and fuel pump, along with a comprehensive service, to get it working again.

Other work included freeing seized brake calipers after decades of standing still. A new water pump and cambelt were also installed for the Cosworth YBD engine. 

When new, the rear-wheel-drive Sierra RS Cosworth would have been capable of 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, with a top speed of nearly 150 mph. The racing Sierras the road car existed to homologate were considerably faster, and dominated Touring Car competitions around the world. 

A whale of a time

Garage Find Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

Putting a value on this Sierra RS Cosworth is no easy task. Being one of only 1,650 examples old in the UK makes it rare, while the decades spent in storage add a special twist. 

Last year a barn-find RS Cosworth sold for more than £80,000 at auction, with that example having been taken off the road in 1991. 

Bidders and enthusiasts will have to wait until 23 May to see what the Sierra sells for. Silverstone Auctions will run the sale behind closed doors, but you can bid via telephone or online.

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Ford test reveals how much quieter new cars really are

Ford Cortina and Mondeo

New cars are quieter than the cars driven by your parents. This might sound like stating the obvious, but did you know just how much quieter they are?

Ford engineers took to the roads around Dagenham to find out.

In unofficial tests, they found that passengers in a new Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid will experience noise levels a quarter of those in a 1966 Ford Anglia. The Kuga was measured at 69.3 decibels, while 89.4 decibels was measured in the Anglia.

The unscientific test was carried out in third gear at 30mph. The quietest car from yesteryear was a 2000 Ford Mondeo, followed by a 1982 Ford Cortina. The results in full:

  • 1966 Ford Anglia – 89.4 decibels
  • 1970 Ford Cortina – 81 decibels
  • 1977 Ford Granada – 82.5 decibels
  • 1982 Ford Cortina – 78.5 decibels
  • 2000 Ford Mondeo – 77.3 decibels
  • 2020 Ford Kuga – 69.3 decibels

‘Whisper strategy’

Ford Kuga sound

Amko Leenarts, director of design at Ford of Europe, said: “We had a clear vision for the Kuga from the very beginning – an approachable and sleek exterior design and an interior that provides a sanctuary space. The result is an SUV that connects with your life in a positive way.”

Ford calls its quest for quietness the ‘whisper strategy’. It says that a number of small noise improvements across the vehicle can add up to a big difference.

In the new Kuga, this included the addition of perforations in the seat bolsters to absorb rather than reflect noise. The car also features aerodynamically-tuned sound shields under the body to prevent road and wind noise from entering the cabin.

Ford even spent two years testing 70 different tyres over a range of surfaces to find the optimum blend of noise, comfort and grip.

Ford Kuga plug-in hybrid

‘Listening carefully’

Glen Goold, Ford Kuga chief programme engineer, said: “Our ‘whisper strategy’ is designed to make journeys as quiet as they can possibly be – from absorbing sound through perforated seats to testing that involves listening carefully to the different sound patterns created by dozens of different tyres.”

Which is all when and good, but if truth be told, you’re really here for the old Fords. With this in mind, here’s the video.

Finally, while you’re here, check out the words and pictures from our visit to Ford’s collection of retro and classic cars.

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Ford Lotus Cortina TV star reunited with owner 40 years on

We reunite TV star Lotus Cortina with its overjoyed owner

Ford Lotus Cortina TV star reunited with owner 40 years onSome people remember names, others never forget a face. A select few of us even recall our online passwords. Rob Jones, though, has an uncanny memory for car number plates. Hey, we all need a party trick.

Rob knows the registration marks of every car he’s ever owned, from the MG Midget he bought after passing his test to the Seat Leon Cupra he drives today. And one of those remembered registrations – FGF 113C – led to an emotional reunion with the car he owned 44 years ago.

Like many great love stories, our tale begins on a sofa in front of the telly. The show was Car SOS, and presenters Fuzz Townshend and Tim Shaw were battling to restore a Mk1 Ford Cortina GT from little more than a bare shell.

Made in Dagenham

Ford Lotus Cortina TV star reunited with owner 40 years on

Seeking inspiration, the team visited Ford’s heritage workshop in Dagenham. Their mission: to drive the GT’s big brother: the legendary Lotus Cortina. Rob nearly fell off his sofa. The immaculate white-and-green classic, hailed by Tim as “a sensation of the era”, had the same number plate as a Lotus Cortina he’d bought in 1976.

“It had to be the same car,” explains Rob, “but I searched through my old photos to be sure.” The Polaroid print he found proved it beyond doubt. There was Rob, in glorious faded sepia, wearing a pair of turned-up flares and leaning on a Lotus Cortina, registration: FGF 113C.

The Ford heritage workshop is usually off-limits to the public, so Rob contacted Motoring Research – having seen our gallery feature on the Dagenham collection. A few excited emails later, Rob had a date in Dagenham. Even better, it was on his birthday.

From road to racetrack

Ford Lotus Cortina TV star reunited with owner 40 years on

Before our heart-warming ‘boy meets car’ moment, a few words on the Lotus Cortina. This skunkworks special was launched in 1963 and is arguably the first fast Ford. It packs a 106hp 1.6-litre Lotus engine and close-ratio Ford gearbox, clothed in lightweight alloy panels.

Tipping the scales at just 826kg, the Lotus Cortina reached 60mph in 9.9 seconds, plus a top speed of 108mph. It was an instant hit on the racetrack, with Jim Clark winning the British Saloon Car title in 1964, then Alan Mann Racing clinching the European title in 1965.

A total of 3,301 Mk1 Lotus Cortinas were built before the squarer Mk2 arrived in 1967. By this point, well-publicised reliability problems and the launch of the Escort Twin Cam meant the Cortina’s star was fading. But it has gone supernova since, with prices for concours examples stretching well into six figures.

Show some appreciation

Ford Lotus Cortina TV star reunited with owner 40 years on

Rob negotiated a rather better deal. “I paid £370 for my Cortina,” he laughs, “then sold it for £500 eight months later. I didn’t own it long as I kept having problems with the starter motor. The ring gears would slip or jam – I ended up replacing them about once a month.”

There are no such issues when, four decades on, Rob twists the key of his old car. The twin-cam engine bursts raucously into life, its throaty bark reverberating off the walls of Ford’s workshop – a huge warehouse that used to be a truck factory. Rob’s smile says it all.

“This brings it all back,” he beams. “I was a Lotus fanatic, but I couldn’t afford an Elan – so this was my dream car at the time. It’s been lowered a couple of inches since I owned it, but otherwise nothing much has changed.”

For the custodians of Ford’s heritage fleet, Rob’s visit provides a valuable chance to fill in the blanks about this Cortina’s history. “We don’t know much about the car before it came to us,” they admit.

A Christmas crash

Ford Lotus Cortina TV star reunited with owner 40 years on

One story in particular raises a few eyebrows. “Yeah, I crashed it,” admits Rob. “I’d just finished my Christmas shopping. I pulled out of a pub car park in Newbury [sober, he adds] and got sideswiped by an Austin 1100. It ploughed into the nearside wing and I ended up paying a £25 fine as it was his right of way.”

On the rain-drenched roads of Dagenham, Rob is being extra-careful: “I didn’t want to push it in the wet. I’m very conscious the car is worth a few quid more than when I owned it.”

It’s clear Rob loves being back behind the skinny wooden wheel, though. “It’s just lovely. I remember that twin-cam sound – and the smell. But the steering is so heavy compared to a modern car. You need muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger to do a three-point turn.”

A great motoring memory

Ford Lotus Cortina TV star reunited with owner 40 years on

Rob has owned many cars over the past 44 years, including several self-built Ginetta sports cars, but the Cortina is the one he wishes he’d kept. “Just being back behind the wheel felt special. I’d have another, definitely. I just need to discover one in a barn.”

Seeing Rob reunited with his Lotus Cortina reaffirmed our belief that cars are more than just transport. They bookend periods in our lives, our memories of past journeys and destinations inexorably linked to the vehicles we travelled in.

For Rob, driving the car he owned in 1976 is the closest he’ll get to time travel. And unlike his flares, the Lotus Cortina hasn’t aged a day.

Ford creates brilliant ‘stay at home rally’ video with toy Fiesta

Ford stop motion rally

Ford has come up with a novel way to remind us of the importance of staying at home. Forget Gymkhana and Snowkhana, this is more Sinkkhana and Lavkhana. Other ‘khanas’ are available.

The stay at home rally uses stop motion animation to turn the home into a playground. Watch as Mental_Block takes his Ford Fiesta on a tour of the living room, bathroom, toilet, kitchen and bedroom. Look closely and you’ll spot a reference to Peppa Pig.

Cleverly, the video highlights the need to wash our hands, sneeze into a tissue and keep our distance. Mental_Block also finds the time to deliver some groceries to his elephant friend. We’re guessing he carried the shopping in the trunk…

The short video is part of Ford’s family fun hub, where you’ll find things to keep the young – and the young at heart – busy during the lockdown. There are mazes, spot the difference games, dot to dots and the opportunity to make your own Ford Puma. The new one, not the original.

Ford EcoSport outline

You can even download a selection of black and white outlines for some ‘crayon fun’. May we humbly suggest that you use ‘ASBO orange’ for the Ford Focus ST? A vanishing pen would be our recommendation for the Ford Ecosport.

It’s all a bit of fun – and it could be the escapism you need.

Stop motion tips

Ford has some tips for anyone who fancies creating a stop motion video of their own. These include:

  • Download an app to your smartphone or tablet
  • Keep your camera still and in one position
  • Shoot in artificial light
  • Have patience – this is a time-consuming process
  • Take a break

You might want to make sure there’s nobody in the loo before you go charging in with your Hot Wheels and camera.

Ford GT spot the difference

Click here to visit the Ford family fun hub. Good luck creating your own stop motion movies.

Ford Fiesta

Ford Peace of Mind offer gives cashback to new car buyers

Ford Fiesta

Ford is hoping to give new car buyers worried about doing a deal during the coronavirus crisis the confidence to still go ahead with a wide-ranging new offer.

The Ford Peace of Mind deal, which runs for cars ordered in April and May 2020, includes payment holidays, the offer of cashback or discounts on the transaction price.

Many cars are also available with zero percent finance.

Ford Peace of Mind: how it works

New car buyers first decide whether they want a vehicle discount or cashback paid when the car is collected.

Amounts range from £650 to £1,500, depending on the Ford model.

Ford says the cashback can cover the first three months of car finance payments. Discounts are added to the deposit allowance.

Buyers can then opt for a three-month payment holiday. Ford Credit will only take the first payment instalment in month four of the agreement.

The package effectively means Ford new car buyers can have a six-month payment holiday.

Ford vans are included in the deal, too.

Ford Transit Custom

All Ford commercial vehicles come with a zero percent finance offer.

Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain MD, said:  “Ford wants to reassure customers that unprecedented times should not prevent them opting for a replacement new car or van.

“Customers are putting a new-found priority on reliable motoring from a trusted brand and our innovative ‘Peace of Mind’ programme helps achieve that.”

Ford adds that showrooms are still closed – but buyers can order online and take remote delivery of their new cars.

Key workers can also arrange with dealers to take urgent delivery.

Ford building coronavirus respirators using fans from cooled SEATS

Ford parts in PPE manufacturing

Ford is lending its manufacturing and engineering prowess, and creative ingenuity, to the fight against coronavirus.

It will be helping the expansion of production of various medical supplies, including air-purifying respirators.

Off-the-shelf parts are being repurposed for new designs.

Ford Filtration System design

These include the fans usually found in high-end air conditioned ‘cooling’ seats. They’re normally used in Ford F-150 pickups. 

Ford is working with 3M, which is suppling HEPA air filters, to develop respirators for healthcare workers. 

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“This is such a critical time for America and the world,” said Ford executive chairman Bill Ford.

“By coming together across multiple industries, we can make a real difference for people in need and for those on the front lines of this crisis.

“At Ford, we feel a deep obligation to step up and contribute in times of need, just as we always have through the 117-year history of our company.”

Ventilators, respirators and face shields

Ford parts in PPE manufacturing

Ford is working in other areas of personal protection equipment development and manufacturing, too.

The automaker is collaborating with GE Healthcare to expand production of its ventilator. Ford will potentially be able to manufacture the ventilators at one of its locations. This will supplement supply from the main GE facility.

Ford’s design team is also working on the design and testing of transparent full-face shields for medical workers and first responders.

The first 1,000 are this week going for testing at Detroit Mercy, Henry Ford Health Systems and Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace hospitals.

Roughly 75,000 shields could be finished this week. The brand is putting its recent developments in 3D printing capability and technology to the test.

Ford parts in PPE manufacturing

“Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO. 

“We’ve been in regular dialogue with federal, state and local officials to understand the areas of greatest needs.

“We are focusing our efforts to help increase the supply of respirators, face shields and ventilators that can help assist health care workers, first responders, critical workers as well as those who have been infected by the virus.”